Hillside Festival 2017 docks onto Guelph Lake Island in just a few short weeks (July 14-16). Three days of camping, dancing, and jamming are paired with headline acts from the likes of Xavier Rudd and Sarah Harmer to Beatforest favourites Charlotte Day Wilson and DJ Shub. Not only that, but the festival is notorious for ushering independent and lesser-known acts to the four stages it boasts. In the spirit of new festival discoveries, we've collected our top ten performers at Hillside 2017. Each feature comes with a 3-10 track playlist, the scheduled performance date, along with a descriptor quote (courtesy of the folks at Hillside). Listen to each act below!
1. Mbongwana Star
Main Stage - Friday, July 14th at 8:30PM
'The band creates a sound that embodies the “smashed-together” nature of the surroundings from which it was born, fusing traditional Congolese rhythms with European post-punk bass and busted electronics from recycled and reconstructed instruments, amplified and distorted in unexpected ways.'
Lake Stage - Friday, July 14th at 6:00PM + 9:00PM
'Known for her voice in the Juno Award winning harmony driven group Chic Gamine, Dirks has a timbre that recalls the golden age of soul, proud and courageous. And yet it still returns to the ground, finding a quietness, a hesitant intimacy.'
Island Stage - Saturday, July 15th at 2:05PM
'Toronto group Jaunt make music that gets tangled in bedsheets, comfy within empty spaces. As an eclectic whip-tight quintet, they create a swift dose of breezy, smooth, R&B-leaning pop that’s catchy as hell.'
4. Mt. Joy
Island Stage - Saturday, July 15th at 3:05PM + Sunday, July 16th at 10:30AM
Sun Stage - Sunday, July 16th at 5:40PM
'Mt. Joy's folk rock sound can be attributed to some of the band's biggest influences: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, and even contemporaries such as The Alabama Shakes, My Morning Jacket, and Vampire Weekend.'
Island Stage - Saturday, July 15th at 12:05PM + 10:15PM
'Weaves have gone from a collection of voice memos on Jasmyn Burke’s iPhone to establishing themselves as one of the most stridently individual acts to emerge from Toronto’s fertile and multifaceted DIY scene. Led by the collaborative efforts of Jasmyn Burke and Morgan Waters, the band have built a devoted audience while capturing the attention of the international media with a brand of art-damaged pop music as difficult to categorize as it is to ignore.'
6. Las Cafeteras
Main Stage - Sunday, July 16th at 5:30PM
Island Stage - Sunday, July 16th at 10:00PM
'Born in the streets of Los Angeles, Las Cafeteras are children of (Mexican) immigrants who are remixing roots music and telling modern day stories with what the Los Angeles Times has called a “uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia and rock." Las Cafeteras is brought to life by their eclectic instrumentation, which include jaranas, requinto, a donkey jawbone, cajón and a wooden platform called the tarima, used to dance the zapateado.'
7. Lost Cousins
Sun Stage - Saturday, July 15th at 3:50PM
Island Stage - Sunday, July 16th at 1:15PM
'Family isn’t always bound by blood. In the case of Lost Cousins it is bound through the kindred connection found in their unique blend of psychedelic soul rock. Making use of celestial textures, lush harmonies, and creative rhythms, the Toronto-‐based quartet combines influences from the past with soulful lyrics to create groove-‐ oriented songs that feel both honest and alive.'
8. Kacy & Clayton
Sun Stage - Saturday, July 15th at 3:50pm
Island Stage - Sunday, July 16th at 10:30am + 5:50PM
'In recent decades, too many folk songs have been burdened by oversung vocals and cluttered arrangements. Kacy and Clayton restore space to the art form by dealing in subtlety instead of tinsel. Their arrangements employ minimal ornamentation. The production values of their recordings are consistent and simple. Kacy and Clayton shun studio trickery and gimmicks, pursuing mixes that recall the natural warmth of 1970s british folk LPs. In fact, much of their repertoire could easily be mistaken for hidden gems of decades past.'
9. Lula Wiles
Lake Stage - Friday, July 14th at 6:00pm
Sun Stage - Saturday, July 15th at 6:40pm
Island Stage - Sunday, July 16th at 2:20pm
'Lula Wiles is deeply rooted in traditional folk music, but equally deep is their devotion to modern song craft. Their songs span from heartbreak-drenched acoustic ballads to honky-tonk swagger to contemporary grit and back again, all anchored by rich vocal harmonies.'
Lake Stage - Saturday, July 15th at 6:00pm
'Kasador is a 5-piece indie rock band from Kingston, Ontario, formed in 2015. Born out of a university town, Kasador brings the energy of a house party onto the stage and into the audience.'
And that's a wrap! If you didn't catch our 150-track Hillside 2017 playlist, check that out below. Also, be sure to grab your digital copy of the lineup to plan your weekend in advance. Happy Hillside!
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